The real estate surrounding Cameron Park in the tiny village of Vesper, Wisconsin, played an important role in the histories of the Hanneman and Treutel families. This village square was the nexus of commerce and family life at the dawn of the 20th century. It was home to a number of Treutel families, who came from Germany through Waukesha County seeking a new start.
A hand-drawn map made by Elaine (Treutel) Clark has surfaced that adds detail to how the town square was laid out and where the family homesteads sat more than a century ago. The map, likely drawn sometime in the 1980s, was provided to us by Elaine’s daughter, MaryClark. Because all of the old Treutel homesteads in Vesper are now gone, the map provides missing detail on what the village looked like in the early 1900s.
As documented elsewhere on this site, the family of Johann Adam Treutel and the former Katharina Geier emigrated from Bremerhaven, Germany, to New York between 1849 and 1854. The family initially settled in Milwaukee before it began to branch out into other areas of Wisconsin and in the deep South of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Henrietta (Krosch) Treutel, the widow of Philipp Treutel, moved north with her children after Philipp died in 1891 near North Prairie, Wis.
Most of the Treutels lived on properties along Anderton Avenue in Vesper, along the western side of Cameron Park. Most also had their places of business along the same street, including a general store, a butcher shop and a smithy (blacksmith shop). The first of the Treutels to come to Vesper was Adeline B. (Treutel) Moody, who settled on a farm outside of the village. Her family was involved in the Moody-Hinze shootout incident.
In late 1898, Charles W. Treutel made a trip to Vesper to “look after his landed interests,” according to the Wood County Reporter. Charles and his brother Henry A. Treutel later established a blacksmith shop that eventually became a service station and auto-repair shop. Treutel Brothers was located on the Hemlock Creek, just across from the northern edge of Cameron Park.
The Treutels purchased what had been known as Goldsworthy’s store at the corner of Anderton and Cameron avenues. Oscar and Walter Treutel bought the store from C.R. Goldsworthy, one of the major land owners in the area. Oscar was the main proprietor, as Walter became a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. The post office was originally located in Treutel’s store. Emma (Treutel) Carlin was the seventh postmaster of Vesper, starting her 11-year tenure in the fall of 1906. Just south of the Treutels’ general store was the butcher shop of Orville Carlin, Emma’s husband.
The map also shows the “priest house,” which was the home of Father C.W. Gille in April 1926 when a fast-moving fireleveled the building before firefighters could reach the scene. Carl Hanneman or wife Ruby (Treutel) Hanneman documented the fire in photographs. Father Gille presided at Carl and Ruby’s nuptial Mass on July 14, 1925 at St. James Catholic Church.
Along the east side of Cameron park we see a village hall, the location of a community gathering documented in an “Eye on the Past” feature on this web site. The building hosted a lot of functions over the years. For a time it was home to a roller rink operated by Harry Cole.
The southeast corner of the map shows the Vesper Graded School, where my grandmother, Ruby (Treutel) Hanneman went to school and later taught for a time after earning her teaching license. The well-built structure still stands, now serving as a private home.
The center of the park shows a bandstand, which many times was the center of activity with band and string concerts. The Vesper Cornet Band played in the park on more than a few occasions. The talented group of musicians included Charles Treutel,Henry Treutel and Orville Carlin, the husband of Emma (Treutel) Carlin.
Not far from the bandstand is an indicator where the Ku Klux Klanburned a cross sometime in the mid- to late 1920s. It was one of Elaine’s vivid memories from early childhood. We could find no reference to it in the Wisconsin Rapids papers. The Klan was certainly active during that time period. If this occurred before April 1926, it would have been directly across from the home of Father Charles W. Gille, the pastor of St. James Catholic Church.
Last but not least is the Walter Treutel homestead, along the western side of Cameron Park with its rear facing the Hemlock Creek. The Treutel children had lots of space to play in the field behind the house. The map says they went ice skating on the Hemlock Creek on winter days. We have many photos showing the home’s exterior, but no images from the inside of the house.
He was the kindest, most decent person I’ve ever known. Tom Hanneman, legendary Minneapolis sports broadcaster, recent Midwest Emmy® award inductee and father of three, died suddenly on Dec. 18 at his home in suburban Minneapolis. He was 68.
A cousin 12 years and 2 days my senior, Tommy enjoyed a storied broadcasting career that would be the envy of any journalist. Tens of thousands will remember him for his calls from the broadcast booth, but his true impact in the world came through his family and the countless one-on-one interactions he had with people in all walks of life. He took interest in them all, treating everyone with respect and kindness. When you talked with Tom Hanneman, you mattered. And he meant it.
The world needs more men like Tom Hanneman. We now must learn to live with one less.
Thomas Donn Hanneman was born in La Crosse, Wis. on June 29, 1952, the third of nine children of Donn G. Hanneman and the former Elaine Kline. He was one of three boys in the Hanneman clan who matched wits and traded lightning fast humorous barbs like they were fired from a Gatling gun. To listen to the Hanneman boys left you with sore ribs from laughing. I don’t know if they rehearsed their act, but Tom, John and Jim, had they not followed the paths they did, could have done a stand-up act worthy of Carson or Leno. Tom and John did great voice imitations, something Tom later employed with great humor as the fictitious basketball announcer Bill Beek (see the video below).
Every encounter with my cousin Tom started the same way. He looked me square in the eyes, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “How are you? Tell me what’s been going on.” He listened, asked insightful questions and gave his appraisal of the things of life . His interest and concern were genuine. That never changed, not once over five decades of our interactions. You can’t teach such things, nor can you force them. Those qualities are a gift from God. Tom made very good use of them.
When God was handing out good looks and talent, Tommy got in line twice. He had the Hanneman face that embodied the young movie-star looks of our then-19-year-old grandfather, Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982). And that voice. My father was told in high school that he had a stentorian voice. Powerful. Indeed his singing could lift the gabled roof off of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church. Tom had a polished voice made for TV and radio — smooth as tiramisu or a sip of Baileys Irish Cream. His broadcast timbre was like listening to Jim Nantz call the PGA championship or Pat Summerall at the Super Bowl. It never gets old.
Tom started his career as a radio disc jockey at Minnesota State University. In 1973, he wrote a letter to Dave Moore (1924-1998), the legendary anchorman at WCCO-TV Channel 4, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. “Dave helped me get a foot in the door at ‘CCO as a dispatcher,” Tom said in his Emmy® acceptance video just a month before his death. “A lucrative job that paid $1.35 an hour. It didn’t matter. Dave Moore taught me many things certainly about the value of mentorship. It’s a lesson that I’ve never forgotten.”
Tom spent 16 years at WCCO as a sports reporter and anchor, then became a TV and radio host for the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA franchise. He eventually became the Timberwolves’ television play-by-play announcer. The Timberwolves assignment lasted for 23 years. He then became the face of Fox Sports North in 2012, anchoring pre- and post-game coverage of the Twins, Wild, Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Viewers and sports fans affectionally referred to him as “Hanny.” Over his long career, he covered the World Series, Super Bowls and even the Olympic Games. He became known for his quick, dry wit and high jinx with radio partner Kevin Harlan (you can read a beautiful summation here; h/t to Jim Hanneman and his son, Leo).
Tom wasn’t kidding about being a mentor. He played that role to many people. During my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tom got me tickets to see the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Gophers play hockey in the WCHA Tournament at the old barn, Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Wisconsin swept the series on its way to the 1983 NCAA championship. What a memory! On one of my other visits, Tom invited me to the WCCO studio to watch the 6 p.m. newscast from behind the cameras. Although I was already well along on my road to a degree, that visit helped cement my own intention to make journalism my career.
As Tom described it later, one of the dramatic bookends of his career came in May 1979 when he volunteered to cover a violent uprising of factions of the Red Lake band of Chippewa Indians in northern Minnesota. Tom and cameraman Keith Brown beat the FBI to the scene and walked right into the middle of pure chaos. They were fired upon by 20-year-old Gordon Wayne Roy, then taken hostage by the madman. The men were ordered to lay on the pavement. Roy held a gun to them and “threatened to blow our heads off,” Tom said. After Roy tried to run the pair over with their own car, Tom and Keith escaped with the help of a neighbor. The memory was still vivid in 2020:
Tom’s broadcast career reads like something deserving of an Emmy® Silver Circle Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Watch the tribute produced by the Midwest Emmy Academy:
One of my favorite memories of Tom came on Oct. 23, 2013. We met for coffee at the Beyond the Daily Grind Cafe in Mauston, the sleepy little city on the Lemonweir River where our fathers grew up. We reminisced about the trips our families made over the decades to visit Grandpa Carl and Grandma Ruby Hanneman at the green-sided house at 22 Morris Street. Fishing with cane poles off the back of the Dr. Hess property along the river, then cleaning the catch for dinner — there was nothing better. Talking with Tom was like a great conversation with your best friend. I will always treasure that day.
Tom was a big supporter of my work on the Hanneman Archive, the web-based project to document the family’s historic journey from Germany, Pomerania and the Czech Republic to nearly 170 years of history in north-central Wisconsin. Just about every time I talked to him or exchanged emails, he thanked me for the effort put into family history. That meant a lot. Now it means even more.
“I have thought about our visit to Mauston frequently in the years since,” Tom wrote me back in June 2020.
“I planned on suggesting a return this summer and then the pandemic hit,” he wrote. We talked about making a visit one day at Christmastime to the Boorman House Museum in Mauston, which proudly displays a beautiful large-format framed pastelthat once hung in the office of Gov.-elect Orland Loomis of Mauston. Loomis gifted the artwork to Carl Hanneman for his work to help elect Loomis in 1942. The pastel later hung in my parents’ living room for more than 50 years.
As much as his impressive career meant to him, Tom was first and foremost about family. His eyes sparkled when he talked about his children, Adam, Courtney and Kyle; and his five grandchildren. In his Emmy® speech, Tom spoke lovingly of Nancy, his wife of 44 years, and how she put up with his late nights and travel schedule, all while raising the children and managing her own career as a nurse.
I know how grieved he was in August 2017 when his younger brother, John, died after a short battle with cancer. John was just 56. “It breaks my heart,” Tom wrote me in July 2017. “We’ve been able to spend time with him at least once a week, but his cancer continues to grow and has worn him down. The three Hanneman brothers decided years ago that spending time together on Christmas Eve wasn’t good enough. We headed north for a few days every summer and got to know each other. I’m so thankful we spent that time together.”
The other dramatic bookend to Tom’s career came in July 2019. The arteries to his heart were choked off and he was rushed into surgery for six-way bypass surgery. “He said he woke up in the intensive care unit, looked around and thought, ‘Oh, so this is what it’s like when you die,'” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. After his recovery, Tom said he was so thankful to get another chance at life. “I’m a lucky man and I know it,” he said in his Emmy presentation just weeks ago.
Of the dozens of tributes posted to social media the afternoon after Tom’s death, one stated it quite beautifully:
Tom is survived by his wife, Nancy; his son Adam Hanneman (Rachel); daughter Courtney Tapper; son Kyle Hanneman (Ashley); his mother, Elaine; sisters Diane Hanneman, Caroline Balch, Jane Olson (Charlie); Mary Cochrane (Mick); and Nancy Sullivan (Mike); and brother, Jim Hanneman (Margaret). He is further survived by his grandchildren, Shae, Ryn and Laine Tapper; and Jack and Mia Hanneman. Tom was preceded in death by his father, Donn; his brother, John C. Hanneman; his son-in-law, Joseph W. Tapper; and his brother, Thomas Patrick Hanneman. •
As we’ve documented elsewhere on this site, the carriage stone was most likely installed by brewmaster Charles Miller, who built the 22 Morris house in the early to mid-1890s. Miller owned the Mauston Brewery, which operated across Winsor Street on property that backs up to the Lemonweir River. Miller built the home with the finest materials, including stained-glass windows (which are still present in the house).
Rossin included his speculation about the cemetery base in a revision to his history book on the Mauston Brewery. The cemetery stones have the same diamond pattern carved into the sides as the carriage stone (although the Hanneman stone only had the pattern cut into two sides). Perhaps Miller bought a precut base from the Mauston stonecutter, or had one custom-made from granite for use in front of his home. Rossin said when Morris Street was recently torn up for construction work, the carriage stone was moved. When it was put back, it was turned 90 degrees.
In the late 1800s and early 20th century, it was common for dearly departed citizens to be buried under much larger monuments than is typical today. The weight of the monuments required they be set on a heavy base for stability. The bases were often made of the same type of stone as the top section. Monuments were installed on either gravel or a concrete pad.
Rossin also sent us some historical news clippings that make reference to the home at 22 Morris Street. One tells a great story of some area boys who used the carriage stone to climb onto George Cole’s cows and ride them to the pasture near the Mauston Greenhouse. Another clip says construction of what would later be the Hanneman house began in late summer 1893.
Small-town newspaper wedding announcements often provide all sorts of details that might otherwise be lost to history. While scanning a box of photographs I discovered a 1958 clipping about my parents wedding from The Reminder-Enterprise, a weekly newspaper in Cudahy, Wisconsin. The late David D. Hanneman (1933-2007) and the former Mary K. Mulqueen (1932-2018) were married at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Milwaukee. At the time, Mary was a teacher at St. Veronica Catholic School.
The text of the article is below the line, followed by a gallery of photos from the wedding and reception. A memorial Mass will be said for Dave and Mary at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020 at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church in Sun Prairie. August 9 is the 62nd anniversary of their wedding.
Miss Mary K. Mulqueen became the bride of David D. Hanneman at St. Veronica’s church on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 11 a.m.
The Rev. Johnson performed the double ring rites as the bride’s father gave her in marriage. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Mulqueen Sr., 3854 E. Cudahy Ave. The groom’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Carl Hanneman, of Mauston, Wis.
A gown of Cupioni silk, in princess style, was worn by the bride. Panels of Chantilly lace were fashioned in the front and in the back. The back of the skirt extended into a short train. A Sabrina neckline and long sleeves were also featured.
The bride carried white orchids attached to a mother of pearl prayer book. The prayer book was given to her by the sisters of St. Veronica’s parish.
Joan E. Mulqueen was maid of honor for her sister. Bridesmaids were Lavonne Hanneman of Mauston and another of the bride’s sisters, Ruth. They wore aquamarine sheath dresses fashioned of delustred satin with tulip overskirts. They wore aquamarine feather headpieces.
The maid of honor carried yellow spider mums with a rust and yellow mixture of leaves. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of yellow spider mums shaped in a spray. Slippers in the color to match their gowns were worn.
Donn Hanneman of 8518 Stickney Ave. was best man for his brother. Attendants were Thomas Mulqueen of 3723 E. Edgerton Ave. and Jack Richards of Madison. The groom and attendants wore Oxford suits, (black suit coats with gray vests and striped trousers).
Earl J. Mulqueen Jr., Patrick Mulqueen, Thomas McShane and Donald Dailey were ushers.
About 300 guests attended the wedding dinner and reception at the St. Frederick’s hall following the church ceremony. Mrs. August Lachal and the ladies of St. Frederick’s prepared and served all the food.
The young people will live at 3263 E. Layton Ave. when they return from a two week honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Canada.
The bride attended Cardinal Stritch College and Marquette University. The groom attended La Crosse State College and the University of Wisconsin.
The wedding date proved to be an anniversary date for several members of the families. Ruth Mulqueen, sister of the bride, and Lavonne Hanneman, sister of the groom, both celebrated their 21st birthday on the wedding day. A cousin of the bride celebrated their 20th anniversary on that day. The wedding was also a reunion of Donn Hanneman and Thomas Mulqueen who served together in the U.S. Navy and have not met for 14 years.
There was a time when letters were the primary means of long-distance communication for families and friends. Even short updates were dashed off on a card or a sheet of special stationery. Long-distance telephone calls were expensive and typically reserved for special occasions or emergencies. For family historians, finding old letters can unearth all sorts of details about life way back when. Sometimes the reveal big details, but often the small things that are otherwise lost to time.
I recently scanned a series of letters my mother wrote to her in-laws, my grandparents, Carl and Ruby Hanneman, who lived in Mauston, Wis. At the time, Mom was living in her hometown, Cudahy, Wis. In the first note, she was not yet married to Dad, but in the other ones they were newlyweds. They were married on Aug. 9, 1958 at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Milwaukee, where Mom was a teacher. I’m sure Mom kept up this correspondence beyond 1959, but only these letters survived (no doubt they were kept safe by my Grandma Ruby Hanneman).
The letters reveal that my Dad had a temporary job at Sears before he started his career selling pharmaceuticals. It sounds like it was a bit of a grind with regular night and weekend hours. Sometime in mid-1959, he got a new job in sales. I can’t tell from these letters, but I know back in that time frame Dad started working for E.R. Squibb & Co. Mom and Dad had an apartment on East Layton Avenue in Cudahy, which they later traded for a brick ranch home in Greenfield before moving to Grand Rapids, Mich.
The letters contained some good chuckles, too, like this train wreck of a sentence: “I hope this restful letter finds you all rested, at least a little bit rested, as well as I am rested.” Not what you’d expect from a woman who taught reading. But I considered the possibility that it was intended as a joke.
The regulars mentioned in these letters include my maternal grandparents, Earl J. and Margaret M. Mulqueen; Mom’s younger brother Joey Mulqueen; Dad’s sister Lavonne (Hanneman) Wellman; Evelyn Mulqueen, wife of my Mom’s brother Earl J. Mulqueen Jr.; Donn and Elaine Hanneman (Dad’s brother and sister-in-law); Mom’s sister Ruth (Mulqueen) McShane and her husband Tom; Mom’s sister Joanie (Mulqueen) Haske and her husband Dick; Mom’s sister the nun, Sister Madonna Marie; and Jack Richards, one of three groomsmen in Mom and Dad’s wedding.
The text of the letters is below:
Undated letter (prior to Aug. 1958)
Dear Mr. Hanneman,
I hope you’re fine and dandy – Lavonne and Mrs. Hanneman too! The reason for this little note is to ask a favor of you. Would you please order the man’s matching wedding band & my rings? I don’t know which catalog it was from but it’s an Honor ring. I’m sure Lavonne will know which set it is! As far as size is concerned, Dave’s ring is at Novak’s in Mauston to have the size adjusted. I’m quite sure it’s an eleven. You could check there on size. It’s just the plain silver band. If you run into any difficulty please call me – Sh. 4-5862 any nite about 5:30 or 6:30. I will then pay you as soon as I see you.
Also, my folks will be coming up this week-end if nothing unforeseen comes up. They will leave here about noon on Saturday. Joe would come with them. I don’t know if David & I will get there. We’ve been busy getting our place ready. I got sick from the paint. Ugh!!
Dave is fine – his foot is okay. Last Friday he had a wisdom tooth pulled. Don & Elaine & the kids are fine too. I must close now as I want to get this in today’s mail. I would certainly appreciate you ordering Dave’s ring. If you are unable to get it, I’ll match one as close as possible from a store here in Milwaukee. Tell Lavonne the dresses are in at Boston Store, but there’s no hurry to try hers on. So long for now,
Nov. 11, 1958 (postmark)
Mr. and Mrs. C. Hanneman
22 Morris Street
Hi! Hope all is well with you. Everything is fine down our way. I’m writing this at school at noontime, so one of my “monsters” can run it to a mailbox.
Dave plans on coming up this week-end to get in some deer hunting. We probably will get there on Friday night about 9:00. If for some reason our plans are changed, we will call you.
My mom is doing very well. Will have to leave all news for the week-end, as I don’t have too long a lunch period. Love to you both again.
See you soon,
Mary and Dave
Dec. 31, 1958 (postmark)
Mr. and Mrs. C. Hanneman
22 Morris Street
We rec’d your letter and was glad to hear too you had such a nice trip back. I’m sure you’re quite busy with your newly acquired family. The reason you couldn’t reach us Sunday afternoon was that we went over to Dick’s house while he changed clothes, and then Joanie and Dick and we went to the orphanage and visited with Sister Madonna Marie. She was very lonely for company and we had a nice visit with her and her boys. We came back about 6:00 and made a spaghetti supper. We drew names for the dishes and Joanie & Dick won. It was all Joanie’s idea.
Well, the main reason for my my writing is to inform you that Dave & I won’t be able to be with you this week-end. Hamilton at first said he could even have Friday off, but later changed his mind & said he wanted to take inventory on Friday & Saturday. That means Dave will even work Saturday. We’re disappointed because we did so want to do something different. We may, if he’s not too beat, drive to Madison and see Jack Richards, but even that is just a maybe!
I’m very happy you all enjoyed your visit with us as really the pleasure was all ours. You know you’re welcome anytime. That bed is up permanently, so there’s always plenty of room. I talked to Donn & he & Elaine are cleaning house like mad as long as there are six feet less to be underfoot the broom!!
Today (Dec. 31) Dave is working and I want to go downtown with my mom and just look around, then do grocery shopping, and then press our clothes for the party tonight. I must close now, wishing you & Carl a very Happy New Year filled with the best of health & happiness.
Tell the kids Happy New Year from us too. Carl, here’s to you (drawing of a drink glass) cheers!!! Hope to see you before too long. Still want to ice fish & skate on the Lemonweir!
Apr 29, 1959 (postmark)
Mr. & Mrs. C. Hanneman
22 Morris Street
I’d been intending to write sooner than this as I knew you probably were wondering how the dedication went. Well, all went very well indeed! Sister’s visit also but she was coming down with the flu bug that’s been hitting everybody. I wasn’t feeling too sharp that day either and was sick by ten that night. I missed the first three days of school last week & dragged myself back on Thurs. & Fri. I still have bronchitis or something. I’m seeing the doctor this week-end. Ten children from the class were out today, so that “bug” is really getting around. Some nice sunshine might help the situation, though.
We can’t thank you enough for being so thoughtful to remember to send the films & slides along. We were most anxious. They don’t look too bad at all.
We’ve been very busy with choir rehearsal two nites a week. I’ve had to have a dress made for the concert & had to “run out” for fittings. I’ll be glad when it’s over, because it has involved so much chasing. I’m just not in a “chasing” mood.
Dave & I were both very surprised to hear about Jack Richards. If you hear anything else, let us know.
Dave has been busy at his temporary job & much busier answering ads, having interviews and weighing advantages & disadvantages. Nothing is definite yet & I feel he should take his time, as there’s no reason at all for a rush!
We hope Bob & Ruth Schroeder had a good time here. They seemed to. Too bad both games were called because of rain.
We also hope this letter finds you both feeling well and in good spirits. We haven’t talked to Vonnie yet but should tomorrow (Wed.) or Thursday. Dave doesn’t get home until 6:15 or so, by the time we eat and relax a bit, it’s time for choir. He works nites a few nites a week & Sat. until 6:00. Sometimes we go to choir at 9:30, practice until 11:30 & don’t get home until midnite. We’re both tired.
Ruth & Tom are back from Florida and had a wonderful time.
I must close now and get ready for bed. David is writing a letter to some friends from Davenport, Iowa. This is catch up on letters nite.
I don’t know when we’ll be coming to Mauston since Dave works Saturdays. I may have a Monday off soon & we could come Sun. & Mon. or when the job he wants comes through & he quits Sears. Til then, take good care of yourselves, enjoy life & remember we think of you often! Carl, don’t work too hard – go fishing! Catch me a big one & eat it all!
May 20, 1959 (postmark)
Mr. & Mrs. C. Hanneman
22 Morris Street
I hope this restful letter finds you all rested, at least a little bit rested as well as I am rested. What I’m trying to figure out right now is where the fine line is drawn between resting and being plain lazy!! I’m close to one or the other.
Dave arrived home quite excited about his job and week in Minneapolis, but very tired. He really is impressed with the company, their policies & all the people he’s met. This week he’s working with his boss from Minn. in the Milw. area and doing quite well.
He thinks he will be going up into Green Bay and Escanaba next week, but isn’t too sure. We sold the car to Lou Ehlers Buick (where he bought it) on Monday. On Sun. we picked up his company car. It’s a beautiful bronze Bel-Air Chevrolet. He’s very pleased with it. Tonite we’re having dinner with his boss. They’re letting me pick the spot. I can’t decide where to go, but I want to go someplace where I haven’t been.
I have to get a desk for Dave, take the bed out of the spare room & set him up a place to work with a filing cabinet for his records.
We got our TV back and it works very fine, finally!
Elaine came down for supper last nite. She left the children home. She really seemed to enjoy the evening very much. She looks at bit thin, but says she and the kids feel fine. Donn called her from New York here. The Mason girl sat with the kids.
I must close now and wash my hair & try to make myself beautiful for this evening. Thank you again Vonnie for coming down last week with me. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you.
I probably will be going back to school next week. I hope so. I have to have some blood tests done which will tell exactly how the liver situation is, but I feel pretty good. I hope everybody home there feels fine too! We probably won’t be up to see you folks until the first or second week of June. I will write before then & let you know what’s happening.
Til then, so long. Enclosed is a check for films. Carl, don’t argue about it!! (Teacher speaking)
Sept. 1, 1959 (postmark)
Mr. & Mrs. Carl Hanneman
22 Morris Street
Thought I would write and say “thank you” both again for your generous hospitality shown Joe and myself when we visited you. He really was quite excited telling of the good time he had fishing running the boat on the river!
It’s Monday evening, the end of the month as I write this. It has finally cooled down here. I hope you people have had relief too! Dave’s hay fever has been quite bothersome this past week. But he left for Michigan this a.m., which means he’ll have relief while there.
I had intended to go with him but didn’t, since I’m helping Evie with the new one – (a boy, 9 lb. 3 oz – last Wed.,), a beautiful contented baby. I kept house for her from last Wed. thru Sat. while she was in the hospital. They’ve asked Dave and I to be sponsors this coming Sunday – his name will be Brian David Mulqueen. Also, I didn’t go with him because I’m going to teach 5th grade for a good part of September for a sick teacher, and so I’m busy this week getting the class room in good shape for the big day – September 9.
I hope you’re still coming down over the Labor Day week-end. Would be very nice to return some hospitality to you for a change!!
I’m going to help my mom tomorrow a.m. She’s having her Jesuit mission club for a luncheon. I have plenty to do during the day – but right this moment I’m kind of lonely for Dave. I think though I’ll survive until Friday. Must close now – I hope I hear from you if you don’t come down. We would much prefer the latter!
Song has the power to totally capture a memory or preserve a time in life that is worth remembering. Everyone most likely has a song that transports them back in time and helps them relive a painful, sweet or wistful memory. Music is truly the thread that stitches together the sometimes-ragged patches of our lives.
This was quite powerfully the case during the last weeks of my mother’s life in December 2018. The title song from Kenny Loggins’ debut solo album, Celebrate Me Home, became the anthem for the walk I made to see my mother off to Heaven. Just the first few twinkling notes on the piano are enough to bring me back, and draw bittersweet tears from my eyes. Every time.
“Play me one more song that I’ll always remember.”
I often listened to CDs on my drive each evening to the Brookdale Senior Living care center where Mom spent her final months. One of my favorites was Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, a compendium of greatest hits by Kenny Loggins. The first time I heard Track 14, Celebrate Me Home, I sensed it was previewing the events that would soon unfold, leading up to Mom’s death at age 86.
Each night after Mom fell asleep watching television, I would quietly slip out and make the 10-minute drive home. Many times I played that CD. Celebrate Me Home always put a lump in my throat. I could sense a little more every day that Mom was moving closer to her eternal home.
Please, celebrate me home Give me a number Please, celebrate me home Play me one more song That I’ll always remember
In the early morning hours of Dec. 27, 2018, this song overwhelmed me on my drive home. Searing tears made it hard to see the road. Mom had passed away two hours prior, just before midnight on Dec. 26. (I wrote about that elsewhere on this site.)
As I pulled up to the stoplight at Broadway Drive and Highway 19, the lyrics hit me in a way they hadn’t before. Celebrate. Home.Beyond the grief was the reality that Mom’s going home was a cause for celebration. No doubt all of Heaven celebrated that night, for she entered eternity free from pain, sickness and the worries of this world. Just one day beyond Christmas, her favorite holiday.
Home for the holidays I believe I’ve missed each and every face Come on and play one easy Let’s turn on every love light in the place It’s time I found myself Totally surrounded in your circles Oh my friends Please, celebrate me home…
For many months after Mom’s funeral, I could not listen to the Kenny Loggins CD. That song. It was seared into my brain like the work of a branding iron. Too painful. But eventually I found myself listening again. Now I could see through the pain, and felt the hope and joy in the melody and lyrics. Celebrate, celebrate. Celebrate me home.
Play me one more song That I’ll always remember I can recall whenever I Find myself too all alone
I can make believe I’ve never gone
Then I’ll never know where I belong Sing me home
I am forever grateful for the incredible talent that went into making Celebrate Me Home. It will always be atop my all-time play list. Until that one day when others might sing this beautiful song to celebrate me home. •
Handwritten letters are a lost art, so it was particularly thrilling to find one inside a card from my paternal grandparents, Carl and Ruby Hanneman, sent for my first birthday in June 1965.
My grandmother was a prolific letter writer, note scribbler and update scrivener. She wrote in a stream of consciousness. Sentences didn’t always have punctuation and could stretch on for half a page. But she captured details that might slip past a less-careful correspondent. Like exactly what time on Tuesday she and Grandpa Carl got their car back from Floyd “Snuffy” Clark at the auto body shop.
Unlike a photograph, a personal letter brings out the writer’s personality. Reading the note in the birthday card, I could almost hear my grandparents voices. They switched off writing in the card. Grandpa went first, telling how Grandma loved the birthday card and money sent by my parents. Then Grandma Ruby took over and provided a full update on the happenings on Morris Street in Mauston, Wis.
June 27th, 1964
Dear Little Baby Joey,
The little sweetheart — one year old! Grandpa Carl and I send our love with big hugs and kisses to you — God blesses always Baby Joey —love, love, love from Grandpa Carl and Grandma Ruby xxxxx
Dear Baby Joey & Little David, Little Lori & Mama Mary and Daddy David:
Grandpa: Ruby got her beautiful birthday card and money from all of you and she wants to say thank all of you so much — it was too much after all the others you have given me —
Grandpa wants me to go to Carpenter’s now to eat it is 7:30 p.m. & bad storm warning out & it’s thundering now.
Grandpa Carl had a nice Father’s Day — we stayed home and we ate at Noneng’s new restaurant — he got nice cards and things, too, and it was stormy bad weather then, too. David we got your nice letter & the check — Dad destroyed the other one. Pretty soon will have you all hear (sic) again. I think I will go to Aunt Emma this week. Donn is driving Tom, Jane & Mary Ellen on July 3rd. I go back on Sunday. The youngsters will stay here & at Lavonne’s for several weeks.
I called Marvin’s, talked to Mabel — I am not going to Aunt Emma’s this week. Marv is taking a week of his vacation & they leave Fri. a.m. for Tomahawk — so that upsets my plans. Now I won’t be able to go until later in July.
Mary is to have planter warts treated on bottom of feet 1st and 2nd of July. They had planned to come this Sat. & with my planning to go to Arpin we changed it. Now I wish they would come sooner.
There was a big extra addition on Parade of Homes in Mad. Sun. paper for open house. 15th annual Mad. Parade of Homes from June 20th thru June 27th on Madison’s far west side. I hope David knows about it by now. I have the booklet saved for him whenever he comes this week.[Nota bene: I believe we were still living in Grand Rapids, Mich., in June 1965, but would soon move to a house on Lake Wisconsin. This was shortly before construction began on my parents home in Sun Prairie, Wis.]
Dad has been feeling much better. Mr. Clark (Snuffy) had the car Mon. & fixed all the rust spots & put new chrome on front — we got it back Tues 22nd at 4:00 p.m.
Thurs. a.m. 24th:
Dad drove to Camp Douglas & Hustler this a.m. to solicit more ads — he wants to go to Necedah tomorrow a.m.[Nota bene: Carl helped put together the printed guide for the Juneau County Fair. One of his duties was ad sales.]
Mary I keep thinking about your Mom. I hope and pray she is getting along nicely & eyesight will be helped.
How are our three little cherubs? I really did miss them and Grandpa did too. He felt badly because he had to be in bed so much while they were here. They are little loves and we enjoyed all of them so. David wrote that Little David asked about us. How does Baby Joey manage in the little walker? If the back wheels rotated like the front ones do, I bet he would really walk soon.
Have some birthday cake for us & we will be singing Happy Birthday to Joey here — all love & XXXes to all.
Dad & Mom xx
Top Image: The front of the birthday card at left, with a photo of Carl and Ruby Hanneman from around 1960.
High school yearbooks are an excellent source for family historians to find sometimes-hidden facts and images from a loved one’s past. And as I discovered with my late father’s copy of the Mauston High School 1949 yearbook, it’s wise to stroll through the pages multiple times so as not to miss things.
Mauston High School’s yearbook is called Hammer. It was first published in 1916. Dad (David D. Hanneman) enrolled at Mauston High in the fall of 1947 and graduated in spring 1951. As we’ve noted elsewhere on these pages, he was part of the 1947 football squad that won the West Central Conference title with a 7-1 record. The 1949 Hammer covered his sophomore year.
The biggest surprise came on the page featuring the student newspaper, The Blue Quill. Dad is listed as one of two staff artists. I had viewed this yearbook before, but never noticed this. We have no issues of the The Blue Quill, so we don’t know what he and co-artist Donald Krueger sketched for the news, feature and sports pages. I’ve seen a few simple sketches and doodles he drew on the yearbook autograph pages, but nothing else. Art talent ran in the family, we covered elsewhere regarding Grandpa Carl F. Hanneman and his drawings for the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School Ahdawagam.
There were no surprises in the yearbook on the athletics front, where Dad always excelled. The 1948 MHS Bluegold finished in a tie for second in the West Central Conference with a 5-1-1 record in football. The team was on pace to win its second consecutive title, but a late-season 7-0 loss to eventual champion Sparta knocked them into second. The Bluegold finished the season with a 12-12 tie with Viroqua after the visitors stormed back in the final 54 seconds to secure the draw to ruin Mauston’s homecoming.
The1949 Hammer featured a football team photo. I recalled that Dad had saved a large-format print of the photo, with many of the player names written on the back. Years ago I scanned the image (below) and even used it to promote my genealogy business.
For his sophomore year, Dad was on the B Squad for basketball. His final two years he played center on the varsity squad.
Dad was also pictured with the science club, Sigma Gamma Pi Beta. He served as vice-president during his sophomore year. It was the only year he is listed as a member of the science club.
Not surprisingly, Dad was a member of the Boys Glee Club. He enjoyed performing arts even more than athletics, and won more medals and awards for his singing than his prowess on the field and the basketball court.
Dad was among the members of the M Club, made up of winners of athletic letters. He won letters for football, basketball and track.
One of the most touching things in all of Dad’s yearbooks was the autograph left each year by his younger sister, Lavonne. Dad was four years older and took seriously his job of protecting Vonnie. They had a special bond. Here she wrote a tribute note, erased it and penciled in another one, circled by a heart. After her 1986 death at age 48, Dad told me these notes held very special meaning for him.
Below is one of the frequent doodles found in Dad’s yearbooks. He was part of a double quartet that competed every year in Wisconsin School Music Association events.
Top Photo: Mauston High School as it appeared in the center spread of the 1949 yearbook. The yearbook cover design is shown upper right.
This story appeared on Page 1 of the Jan. 26, 1991 edition of the Racine Journal Times. It was based on observations during my second trip to Germany during the Persian Gulf War.
By Joseph Hanneman
Racine Journal Times
U.S. BASE, SOUTHERN GERMANY — Some of the first casualties of the Persian Gulf War were the emotions U.S. troops and families stationed in Europe, as they worried about loved ones in Saudi Arabia and expressed resentment toward anti-war protests back home.
In the first-week of combat between U.S.-led allies and Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces, one U.S. base in Germany displayed fear, anguish, anticipation and a host of other emotions.
People at the base clearly were in anguish. Many of them have relatives deployed in Saudi, as they call it here. Most of the deployed soldiers are in combat units.
Members of the Army’s VII Corps artillery units from this base are now at forward positions in Saudi Arabia. They would be in the thick of it if the United States starts a ground offensive into Kuwait.
“God Bless our Soldiers in Saudi Arabia,” proclaimed a banner inside one of the many post exchange shops on base. Employees wore yellow ribbons in remembrance.
At the U.S. Army hospital here, one nurse in the outpatient clinic said her husband was just deployed to the front lines.
“I’ve just been pulling my hair out,” she said, adding that she has been glued to the TV set, watching Cable News Network’s coverage of the war. She said she fears a ground war is inevitable.
Discussion on the Army’s base shuttle bus turned to one active-duty soldier, who was supposed to be sent home last week because his unit was deactivated as the United States prepares to shut down some of its bases.
Three days before his plane was supposed to leave, he was told to report for duty in Saudi Arabia.
Fear has also become a staple in the daily routine.
The threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. bases is considered very real, and the military has employed many tools to reduce the risks.
Commercials on Armed Forces Radio and Television warn against speaking about military matters in public, for fear terrorists could be listening. It was reminiscent of the old war slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.”
Soldiers were also warned that Arab terrorists may try to buy military uniforms or identification cards.
Military families were told to venture off base sparingly, and try to blend into the German population as much as possible, lest they attract undue attention.
But the post commander appealed to parents not to pull their children from Defense Department schools on base. Many families here and elsewhere in Europe kept their children home in the wake of hostilities and terrorist threats.
Security was at a peak level, called “Threatcon Charlie.” That puts scores of heavily armed military police at every entrance, checking IDs and searching for bombs. At least two forms of photo identification were required, and every bag and package was searched.
There was growing resentment among soldiers and families as they watched news reports of anti-war protests at home.
Some soldiers who oppose Operation Desert Storm wondered aloud where the protesters were over the past 5 ½ months, when the United States built its war force in the Gulf. Others said it hurt knowing while they were overseas serving their country, some back home didn’t appreciate it.
The growing number of military reservists shipped here to fill in for regular troops sent to the Middle East complained of shabby treatment by regular Army personnel.
Some reservists said regular troops seem to resent the citizen-soldiers, and treat them accordingly. Reservists are performing a host of support duties, such as medical care, transportation and administration.
“The sacrifices we have made are not acknowledged by the regular army,” one reservist said. “They seem to consider us a burden.”
One thought was universal here — a desire for the war to end quickly. For military families, that will mean loved ones come back to Germany. For reservists, it will mean going home.
(Reporter Joseph Hanneman, who covers government and higher education for the Journal Times, travelled to Germany to visit his wife, Susan, an Army reservist called to active duty at the U.S. base in Germany.)
Feature image atop the story: A sculpture outside the museum at the former concentration camp near Dachau, Germany. Photo taken during my second trip to Germany in 1991.
One beautiful young lady truly stands out among the 160 pages of the 1922 Ahdawagam. What is an Ahdawagam, you ask? It is the name of the school annual, or yearbook, at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. Ahdawagam is an Indian word that refers to the “two-sided rapids” along the Wisconsin River.
The specially featured young lady was touted for her musical talents and participation in a wide range of student activities. She is Ruby V. Treutel (1904-1977) of Vesper, Wis., before she became Ruby V. Hanneman as the bride of Carl Henry Frank Hanneman (1901-1982).
It is indeed a treat to stroll through the pages of this early 1920s book, 98 years after it was published. It was a very different era, and these young people seem so mature and serious. Although maybe that is because we came to know them much later in life.
Ruby’s first appearance in the book is near the front, in the senior portrait section. Right between Irene Timm (“Timmy”) and Florence Van Dyke (“Flo”). No nickname is mentioned for Ruby. The listing has five lines describing her school activities: Glee Club, Ahdawagam staffmember, Dramatic Club, Mask and Wig Club (founding member), Gamma Sigma musical society, and a performer in the school operetta for three years. Ruby’s slogan certainly fits the woman we came to know: “Music hath charms and so has she.”
She is next listed in the “Class Mirror” section. Her answers included: Heart = Carl; Mind = Church’s (pharmacy where Carl worked); favorite occupation = singing; wants to be = opera singer; and “ought to be” = second Galli Curci. The last item is a reference to Amelita Galli-Curci, the Italy-born coloratura soprano who was an acclaimed opera singer in the early 20th century.
A few chapters later, in the Music and Drama section, we find Ruby’s stronghold. She was president of the 87-member Glee Club, which encourages development of musical talent. The club also performs an operetta each year.
Just pages later we find Ruby in the group photo for Gamma Sigma, which draws the most musically talented students in the school. She was among the founding members during the 1921-22 school year. The group offered regular public singing and instrumental performances.
Ruby played the lead role in the Glee Club operetta production of Sylvia. The club and the performance were directed by Elizabeth Bradford, Lincoln High School’s musical supervisor.
The operetta was no small-time school production. It received a preview article on the society page of the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on Jan. 17, 1922. Sylvia was originally slated to be performed at Daly’s Opera House in Wisconsin Rapids. Two weeks before opening night, the opera house burned to the ground. Firefighters were hampered because the hydrants near the opera house were frozen and water had to be pumped from the Wisconsin River. The fire forced the operetta production to relocate to Lincoln High School for the Jan. 27 performance.
The Daily Tribune published an extensive review in the Jan. 28 issue. The reviewer sang the praises of Ruby and her co-performers. “Miss Ruby Treutel scored in the title role, as the haughty sweetheart of the court poet. As an actress, she showed unusual ability in every situation,
“but it was as a singer that she won the hearts of the crowd completely.”
Ruby shined with her rendition of “Unto Thy Heart” with a violin obligato by Esther Levin. The number “seemed to appeal to her listeners especially, for they accorded her enthusiastic and well-deserved applause,” the Daily Tribune review said.
We’ve documented elsewhere on this site the musical talents of Ruby Treutel Hanneman. She performed in various theaters, starting when she was just 17. In April 1921, Ruby “brought down the applause of the house time after time” with her performance in the play “The Fire Prince,” according to the Daily Tribune.
Ruby’s next yearbook appearance is on a photo-collage page. She and future husband Carl are doing some kind of goofing around. The photo isn’t real clear, but it appears Carl is either playing some kind of stringed instrument or wielding a fishing pole or a sword. See what you think. Many of the photos in the collage seem to be related to the operetta.
It is impressive to see how dressed up these students are on every page of the yearbook. Ladies in dresses and the young men in suits and ties. Fashion was the rule of the day.
Finally, Ruby is pictured among 17 members of the Ahdawagam yearbook staff. She served as editor of music and drama.
Ruby’s final mention in the book is on a list under the heading “The Great White Way.” All of the people on the list were described as lights (“head light,” “flashlight,” “candle,” etc.). Ruby is listed as “Star Light.”
Carl gets the last word. He appears in the alumni section, where he is listed for his job as a druggist at Church’s Drug Store. Carl graduated from Lincoln High School in 1921.
The staff box for the yearbook says it was Vol. 10 for the Ahdawagam. The editor-in-chief was Viola J. Nash. The book was produced by the Hein-Sutor Printing Company of Wisconsin Rapids.